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Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Duh Contenduhs

RCP pointed the way this morning to a series of articles on the top contenders for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

Steve Kornacki says Hillary can win the nomination by doing what Gore did. Translation: Smack her opponents around.

But the main explanation for Mr. Gore’s comeback is simply that he took the gloves off, dusting off his notorious attack-dog act and shamelessly slandering Mr. Bradley with conventional (and yet maddeningly effective) scare tactics, warning that his opponent’s programs would, essentially, kill old people. It helped, too, that Mr. Bradley showed all the eagerness to fight back of Michael Dukakis.

I remain in the "They've gotta be kidding about Obama" camp, but Dick Morris appears to like his chances.

So we wait for Barack Obama to define himself. If he runs to the left, he will be a worthy successor to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. If he runs to the center, he might be a successor to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He might just make it to the White House.

I don't see how he gets to the right of Hillary, which is surely where the center is. He still strikes me as the Mario Cuomo of his time; somebody who struck the right chords with the party's base in a keynote address, but who doesn't really have the staying power for a bare-knuckles brawl.

Update: This article talks about Obama's use of drugs (as disclosed in an autobiography) while in high school and college and ponders whether he will be able to overcome it. Considering that the media made almost no mention of Kerry's use of pot, I doubt it will become a significant issue. If he were a Republican, though....

John Edwards is the candidate who seems to have the best chance of knocking off Hillary. He's got money, looks and an established base in the party (trial lawyers). He can argue that as a Southerner, he might pick up a few states in the old Confederacy, without which a Democrat victory looks increasingly improbable. Kathleen Parker wants us all to remember that his daddy was a millworker.

No one, Republican or Democrat, has worked harder on his resume or more carefully calculated the timing of his announcement than Edwards, who, by the way, may be the son of a millworker. Could just be a rumor.

Nearly every time we've seen Edwards in the past year, he's been dripping with sweat from raising roof beams and digging out muck in New Orleans, where he and a corps of volunteer youths have been rebuilding the city that George Bush ignored.
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